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Support for families facing divorce

National support organisation Family Lives is bracing itself throughout January to support families going through separation or conflict with ex partners and step families, as the organisation’s new Divorce & Separation report highlights that couples are more likely to separate in January.


This year’s report displays how divorce and separation affects families by analysing divorce-related calls to the Family Lives’ helpline in the period April 2010-September 2011.

Monthly analysis demonstrates a steady stream of calls about divorce/separation in January. Following an analysis of narratives from Family Lives’ online forums, this may suggest that divorcing parents leave the separation process till the New Year to allow children to enjoy Christmas without the distress caused by splitting up.

The new report shows that:


  • Around 52% of separated - or in the process of splitting up - parents are unable to reach general agreement about moving forward.
  • Recently divorced adults are more likely to feel lonely (7% compared to 2% of all long calls).
  • Around 23% of calls revolved around parental responsibilities during or after divorce/separation.


In addition, the report shows that around 45% discussed access issues, suggesting that they might not be able to see their children over the festive period. From a child-related point of view, 20% of children of divorced parents have unreliable contacts with their parents, whereas 24% suffer from a lack of contact.


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